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What I Would Do if I Joined Vocal Today

Notes from a 3-year Member

By Judey Kalchik Published about a month ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024
What I Would Do if I Joined Vocal Today
Photo by kaleb tapp on Unsplash

I'd do things a bit different if I joined Vocal today instead of February 2021.

For one thing; the platform itself has changed quite a lot. Acting on input from its writer/creators many enhancements to the reporting, pay structure, engagement, and even ownership possibilities are now in place. (Yes- I am aware that not every change has been greeted with approval. This is not that: I am focusing on what I would do differently today.)

Here are the three things I would do differently if I joined Vocal today.

Research

Then: When I started there certainly were reference articles available to new users. I did glance through them, but several seemed to contradict each other and I wasn't sure what was accurate.

TODAY: If I joined today I would make my way through the Creator 101 resource tab. (And, yes; I did write/re-write these resources.) They now take a writer/creator step by step through the process of signing up, connecting to Stripe for payment, making their first post, tracking their reach, using prompts, FAQs, and more. And, because they are written by a person paying to use the platform, I can respond to questions and make updates to keep them current.

Note to self- need to updated the self-identified AI and the new Homepage enhancements that rolled out this week.

Vocal+

Then: I joined as a free member. I was hesitant about paying for something that was unknown, even if I could pay a month at a time.

TODAY: I would join as a Vocal+ member right away. Sure, the benefit of a increased pay per read and a lower Wallet balance needed to request a payout is nice... but for me it's all about the Quick Edit function that Vocal+ member have. (Non-Vocal+ members need to contact Vocal support to return the content to DRAFTS, where they can be edited and re-submitted.)

I use Quick Edit ALL THE TIME. Not just to correct mistakes, but to add links to existing content like the Guide that I wrote over several chapters:

Quick Edit allowed me to link to new chapters as they became available.

I also use it for my Index of Top Stories, which I keep pinned to the top of my Vocal profile page. I can add them when and if my content is recognized as a Top Story.

Interaction and Engagement

Back in the day (3 years ago!) the only engagement a post could get was a 'heart' and a tip. To interact: I used Facebook and went so far as to create a Facebook group to do so.

There was no:

  • Subscribing
  • Commenting
  • Pledges
  • Same day posting
  • Notifications
  • On Platform Vocal/writer-creator interactions
  • Vocal Leaderboard
  • Vocal Discord
  • Then: I relied on the Facebook group to collaborate on stories, to gain both reads and encouragement, and to establish meaningful relationships with my fellow Vocal writer/creators.

    TODAY: I use many of the enhancements to follow writers, leave comments, gauge the response to my content, and hopefully give at least as much of the encouragement that I receive. I probably would not have seen the need for or made the Facebook group.

    Sure: sometimes things like Creator Chat and Raise Your Voice seems to skip a week now and then (none this week {shrug}) but by and large Vocal has worked with the feedback they receive to enhance the user experience for both writer/creators and readers.

    The Discord has been valuable to ask questions, share stories, and report issues. It also is a fabulous way to coordinate collaborative story, which I detailed here:

    Conclusion

    My Vocal journey is just that: a journey. Like most journeys the scenery is constantly changing and filled with unexpected surprises. The platform today is quite different than the one I joined in 2021, and I think it is for the better.

    No Matter when or why YOU began interacting on the Vocal platform I encourage you to remain engaged, share your comments (you can start with this piece and leave a comment below!), and stretch out of your comfort zone by entering the official and unofficial Challenges.

    ProTip: The hyperlinks take you to resources on the Vocal platform. Explore when you get the time. Please let me know which updates have meant the most to you on your Vocal journey!

    Vocal

    About the Creator

    Judey Kalchik

    It's my time to find and use my voice.

    Poetry, short stories, memories, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

    You can also find me on Medium

    And please follow me on Threads, too!

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    Comments (45)

    • Sanjay Upadhyay2 days ago

      Congratulation for top story

    • Sarah Parker7 days ago

      Thanks for this. Very informative!

    • Kay Husnick18 days ago

      You really do so much for the community here. Keep it up! Not to speak for anyone else, but I think we need that.

    • Lost in Writing25 days ago

      I would also add an alternative payment method as Stripe is not available in all countries.

    • ROCK 26 days ago

      I needed to read this; I am still confused on how to pin more than 3 stories. Excellent info. and article!

    • Excellent story & interesting read Judey!👍🏼 Well deserved win on the Leaderboard 🤩 I love the comments section… so much fun and encouragement.💚 I became a paying member for the quick edit option after I waited 13 days to add a missing ‘S’ in one of my stories!🤣

    • Hello Judy, Again, as a new writer on Vocal I am grateful for all useful information. I am now working on my first story, soon to be done. But I run into a problem, that I hope you or someone else can help me solve. All the text in the story turned BOLD. It seems to be locked in BOLD. Even when I highlight and click bold, it does not change to regular, unbolded text. Please, someone help me, pretty please; sugar on top?? Thank you, in advance.

    • Sarah Wilcox29 days ago

      Excited to have found you! I just recently learned about the leaderboard and unofficial challenges! Your article is very helpful and I look forward to reading more of your journey while I’m navigating my own waters! 🫶

    • R.C. Taylor29 days ago

      Congratulations, Judey! Well earned top story and super excited that you placed on the leaderboard! I found this article very helpful even as a three year member so I'm going to go and employ some of these tips now ;) I tend to focus a lot of my engagement in Facebook groups but I'm going to try to make sure I also do it on the site as well :) Congrats again! <3

    • Ameer Bibi29 days ago

      Congratulations on top story as well as first position on weekly leaderboard. I read word to word of your story and learnt many new things. One thing which resonated with me is quick edit on Vocal plus. For a person like me who has not completed three months total, your some minutes story is learning about your three years journey. Great I appreciate your bold steps about betterment of Vocal and community.

    • Tiffany Gordon 29 days ago

      Comments have been a welcome feature. They allow for invaluable feedback and friendly convos! Happy Summer Judey!🌞

    • Thank you for this useful information.

    • D. J. Reddall29 days ago

      There are valuable in sights herein, for which I am grateful!

    • Katarzyna Popiel29 days ago

      A lot of useful information here so thank you for that treasure trove. The main problem for me is all that life that happens outside of Vocal and leaves me with no time or brain space to come here more often and do even one half of what you recommend!

    • Thank you Judy and congratulations on your top story 🎉🎉🎉

    • Question Judey how do you find the environment of vocal any enhancements on collaboration rules etc.

    • For those just finding this article, please don't hesitate to post your comments, despite the ensuing drama that we have happening here.

    • Raymond G. Taylorabout a month ago

      .. and of course congratulations on the top story

    • Raymond G. Taylorabout a month ago

      Great retrospective Judey and I will just now musing on the #200 challenge and progress to date, now that we have hit mid year. Here's to a successful 2nd half!

    • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

      Judey, thank you for taking me down Vocal's memory lane. Remember this all to well. While notifications can be a good thing, would be terrific to have delete option like other platforms. Congratulations on Top Story!!!💕❤️❤️

    • This comment has been deleted

    • This is brilliant information to read as a new writer here! I plan to join Vocal+ and will read through all you’ve shared in preparation to begin sharing words I’ve written. Thank you so much ☺️

    • Margaret Brennanabout a month ago

      congratulations on TS. What you wrote is very helpful but my problem is getting people to read my work. While I've accumulated many subscribers, getting to go on to page seems like pulling teeth from a hippo! Where did my subscribers go? I read and comment on so many and yet, they don't reciprocate. Can you guide me into getting more people to read and perhaps comment? Thanks.

    • Thank YOU, for providing information that I need. At the end of the day, sharing knowledge and experience that can enlighten, delight, inspire, or empower someone with our stories, is the purpose of a good writing platform. And PS, you are welcome.

    • Cheryl E Prestonabout a month ago

      Joining Vocal groups did nto benefit me. I was igmored and received no interaction so I left.

    Judey Kalchik Written by Judey Kalchik

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